On Friday, Ford Field announced the opening of the stadium’s sensory room, which will serve as a refuge for guests who need a quiet place to take a break from loud, crowded events and prefer a therapeutic environment that can develop sensory perception. With this addition, the Detroit Lions’ home stadium joins a growing list of NFL stadiums providing this accessibility service thanks to a generous donation from the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation.
Sensory rooms, like the one at the Philadelphia Eagles’ home stadium Lincoln Financial Field featured on the Today Show in 2019, are an important feature for kids and adults with autism who may need a minute to calm down during intense events. According to the tweet by the official Ford Field account, Hope Network volunteers will staff the room and training will be provided by the Autism Alliance of Michigan.
Ford Field is proud to announce the opening of our sensory room in the stadium.— Ford Field (@fordfield) October 6, 2023
If you or someone you know would benefit from access to the Ford Field Sensory Room, please visit one of our Guest Services locations.
Thank you to our collaborators who made this possible.… pic.twitter.com/KMTe9bsDCx
Fredi Bello’s foundation has a single mission of helping equip such sensory rooms in Michigan and spreading autism awareness. According to their website, more than 70 projects have received support, many of them at K-12 schools. The foundation also recently worked with Michigan State University to open a sensory room at the Breslin Center, home to that university’s basketball and volleyball programs. In comments to the school newspaper The State News, Bello explained how hands-on the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation’s work with the sensory rooms can be:
Fredi Bello emphasized that his foundation does not just “write checks.” Instead, he and his family go to the space, order the equipment, deliver it to the space and set it up. Fredi Bello and his family visited the Breslin Center on Father’s Day last June and spent 10 hours there setting up all the equipment.
Very exciting Foundation news:— Fredi The PizzaMan 313 (@FrediThePizzamn) October 6, 2023
We have Been wanting to share this project for a while. Fredi The PizzaMan Foundation for Autism has Fully Funded and entirely put together the Sensory Room inside of Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. pic.twitter.com/C6KAwDfkOK
According to the Ford Field Guest Services FAQ web page, fans who would like to use the sensory room or obtain sensory kits should visit a guest services desk or send a text message to their helpline:
As a gift from the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation, the Ford Field Sensory Room is located on the second level. To access this room, visit any Guest Services Desk or text 313-513-8398 on game day for assistance. For another option, Sensory Kits are also available through Guest Services.
This is fantastic news! The Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation, Hope Network, and Autism Alliance of Michigan deserve a hearty round of applause for making this possible. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- Also at Ford Field, there was a “Continue to Fight, Continue to Live” event in support of the NFL’s Crucial Catch Initiative. The team posted a gallery of photos taken from the event on their official website. Sunday’s game against Carolina will be Detroit’s Crucial Catch game.
- Sean Mackin from Yellowcard will be performing the national anthem this week. Mackin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011, so this performance at Ford Field’s Crucial Catch game makes a lot of sense.
- This is very cool:
RECAP: Last month, the #Lions held their Women in Football game, spotlighting the countless ways in which women both impact the game of football and contribute to the Lions organization. pic.twitter.com/NF5cOBHHaG— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 5, 2023
- David Montgomery was on Good Morning Football on Friday morning. The team posted the nearly nine-minute video of the segment on their site, and you can watch it in a web player there.
This is an Alim McNeill tweet.https://t.co/bv7swDVYNZ— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) October 6, 2023
- Joe Kania and Erik Schlitt posted their latest Detroit Lions Breakdown episode, a preview of Week 5 against the Panthers. You can listen to the entire episode in a web player on their page.
- Brian Branch is pretty good at this coverage thing (Cam Sutton also looks decent in the middle of the pack):
CB Separation Prevented through Week 4. pic.twitter.com/C5sRLdw6wj— Jrfortgang (@throwthedamball) October 6, 2023
- Fox 2’s Dan Miller sat down for a quick interview with running back David Montgomery on Thursday. You can watch the three-minute video in a web player on Fox 2’s site.
- Benito Jones is up with the current fashion trends. Tremendous. If you want to know what the hat says, it’s blurred out in the photo posted by the team’s official account for a reason.
- According to MLive’s Anneice Cody, this Sunday’s Lions game is a pretty hot ticket. “Standing room tickets are going for around $70 while seated tickets range from around $115 to north of $800.” This is a far cry from 2019 when tickets to see the Matt Patricia-led Lions on the road against Washington were pretty damn cheap.
- The featured guest on this week’s episode of Twentyman in the Huddle was safety Tracy Walker. You can watch the entire episode on the team’s official YouTube channel.
- As always, the Lions media team is outstanding.
- Not Lions related, but in honor of the Red River Rivalry (Oklahoma-Texas) happening this weekend and the memory of Mike Leach, I’d like to direct attention to an awesome tale of deception on YouTube from ESPN College Gameday: “How Oklahoma used a fake script to trick Texas in the 1999 Red River Rivalry.”
Incidentally, ESPN’s Dave Wilson posted a long article about Hal Mumme, Dana Holgorsen, and Mike Leach titled “Untold Stories of Football’s Air Raid Revolution” this past Thursday. Some incredible stories in there too.
- Ben Johnson is an outstanding offensive coordinator, exhibit 97:
Coaches have insane memories— Colton Pouncy (@colton_pouncy) October 5, 2023